Calamari in red wine and tomato sauce

    1 hour 15 min

    This is an Italian Christmas Eve favourite. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. Serve as a side, starter or over pasta. Buon Natale!

    85 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1kg squid, cleaned
    • 1 (700g) jar passata
    • 250ml (8 fl oz) Chianti wine
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 30g (1 oz) grated Pecorino cheese

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Separate the tentacles from the long body of the squid, if not done already. Slice the body into rings about 1.5cm thick, and set aside.
    2. In a saucepan, combine passata, red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil and Pecorino cheese. Simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes to give the alcohol in the wine time to evaporate, and all the flavours time to blend.
    3. Add the squid rings and tentacles to the sauce. Continue to slowly simmer for about another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Squid is done when it is plump and more opaque. Do not cook on higher heat or for a longer period, as squid is famous for becoming rubbery.

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    Reviews in English (50)


    Took shortcuts. Thought this was very good & spicy. For a quicker version, I passed on using fresh calamari, frozen worked just fine...took less time.  -  21 Jul 2008


    This was good. Anoter reviewer suggested this was easy. IT IS NOT!! Cleaning a kilo of squid takes a minimum of 45 minutes and that is if you know what you are doing. DO NOT USE FRESH SQUID LIKE I DID. It is too tender and turns mushy when cooked, not rubbery like frozen does. The sauce was tasty and I will make again. If anyone cares here is how you clean squid. First you pull all the heads off, then you cut off the tentacles off above the eyes. Discard the lower portion of the head. Turn the tentacles inside out and cut off the round bulb centre. Rinse and Drain. For the body of the squid, pull out all the back bones. Remove the black skin surface. Cut squid into round pieces. Turn each piece inside out and remove any stuff on the inside under running water, drain. Now instead of putting them in this recipe dredge in a mixture of rice flour and pepper, deep fry in hot oil just seconds (till they float, less than a minute). Drain on kitchen roll.  -  21 Jul 2008


    Fantastic! My wife loved this recipe even though I thought there was too much sauce. I cooked the calamari only about 6-8 minutes so they wouldn't get tough. There was enough sauce left over that I saved it and used it the next day to make a fantastic red clam sauce for pasta. My wife asked me again today when I am making this again...I guess it will be tomorrow.  -  21 Jul 2008